Layer House in Regional Victoria by Robson Rak | Yellowtrace

Layer House in Regional Victoria by Robson Rak | Yellowtrace

Layer House in Regional Victoria by Robson Rak | Yellowtrace

Layer House in Regional Victoria by Robson Rak | Yellowtrace

Layer House in Regional Victoria by Robson Rak | Yellowtrace

 

Melbourne based architecture and interior design practice, Robson Rak, are well known for their beautiful projects that not only look good, but feel good too. Providing a sense of warmth and well-being by creating architecture that is easy to maintain and nourishes the user for years to come is the practice’s main goal. Their latest project, The Layer House, located in regional, coastal Victoria, does just that.

The Layer House sits on the site that’s close to the beach, although without any views to embrace. Instead, Robson Rak have turned to the house itself, it’s materiality, detailing and textures, creating plenty of visual interest with their design response, without creating complexity or overwhelm.

The largely sloping site tilts from the north to the south, and is made up of layers of limestone shelves and underground caves. Not only does this project take it’s name from it’s context, the design approach for the house is also, quite literally, layered. There are many intersecting zones and private vistas coming together throughout the building. As there are no sweeping panoramic views from the site, Robson Rack created some smaller internal courtyard spaces and vistas that allow a sense of looking past the building.

The client’s brief called for a large family home that could accommodate all the family members and their many guests all at the same time. This needed to be a quality, robust home that would serve future generations.

 

Layer House in Regional Victoria by Robson Rak | Yellowtrace

Layer House in Regional Victoria by Robson Rak | Yellowtrace

Layer House in Regional Victoria by Robson Rak | Yellowtrace

Layer House in Regional Victoria by Robson Rak | Yellowtrace

Layer House in Regional Victoria by Robson Rak | Yellowtrace

 

Taking it’s clues from the site, the house appears virtually embedded into the site. Demonstrating contextual sensitivity, the project is built with local building materials and techniques. The two main materials used are rammed earth and timber. The sand component of the rammed earth is locally sourced and built by local artisans, making the house appear as though it’s virtually risen from the site it sits on. As a sustainable, honest, and efficient building material, rammed earth requires no maintenance and ages gracefully. The timber, which has been used alongside rammed earth on the soffits and the decking, will be allowed to grey off as it ages and weathers over time.

In an effort to create a sound, sustainable building, the architects have used double glazed aluminium doors and windows for thermal performance. During summer, the louvers throughout the house create effective cross ventilation.
 Hydronic heating embedded within the concrete floor provides even heat during winter months.

With all this said, for my money this house really comes unto it’s own within the interior. The spaces are light, bright, airy and incredibly spacious, without never feeling cavernous. Whilst the overall palette is carefully edited and subdued with pale timber, rammed earth, and a light concrete floor, Robson Rak inject a sense of playful personality with strategic graphic insertions. The colour not only creates a sense of excitement, it also helps to delineate areas within a large open plan. The green tiled island bench is one such example. Using a hardwearing commercial grade tile, the kitchen island with its rounded corners provides both an element of surprise and softness, while the colour helps to connect the landscape with the internal space. The choice of furniture, furnishings, lighting and artwork ads a finishing touch that results in a holiday home dreams are made of.

If this is not what easy going, feel good architecture looks like to you, then we probably can’t be friends.

 

 


[Images courtesy of Robson Rak. Photography by Shannon McGrath. Styling by Swee Lim.]

 

About The Author

Dana Tomić Hughes
Founder & Editor
Google+

Dana is an award-winning interior designer living in Sydney, Australia. With an unhealthy passion for design, Dana commits to an abnormal amount of daily design research. Regular travel and attendance at premier design events, enables Dana to stay at the forefront of the design world globally. While she is super serious about design, Dana never takes herself - nor design - too seriously. Together with her life and business partner, Dana is Boss Lady at Studio Yellowtrace, specialising in Design Strategy, Creative Direction and Special Projects. The studio takes a highly conceptual and holistic approach to translating brands & ideas into places & experiences.

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